Epic Road Trip to pick up my new Rebel GT at Mark Dodge

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stevieb92

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Hey all,
I was finally able to make the road trip from Pittsburgh, PA to Mark Dodge to pick up my new Rebel GT. Mapping it out showed a total of 1287 miles, one way. It started on saturday morning, Jan 13 at 6:30 am. My girlfriend and I drove my 2020 Wrangler Rubicon down because I was trading it in to MD. We drove through several hours of Ohio where it was snowing and windy. The wind was absolutely crazy and it took effort to keep the Jeep in my lane. Once we passed Cincinatti, the snow stopped and the wind died down and it was smooth sailing to Louisiana. We drove straight through stopping a lot for bathroom breaks, gas and sometimes through the night to sleep in the Jeep. We finally arrived at the hotel near MD Sunday morning around 9:15 am. Thankfully, they had a room available that early and let us check in waaaay early so we could recharge. Since we drove through some nasty weather, I ran the Jeep to the nearest car wash and gave it one last bath before handing over the keys the next day.
Monday morning, we arrived at MD at 8am and were greeted by Derrick and Mark. We chatted awhile next to my truck which was under the side pavilion. I looked the truck over and was impressed how clean it was. We were then greeted by Aaron and chatted awhile with him as well. I remarked multiple times how pleasant the buying experience was and how helpful everyone I spoke to was during the process. We transferred all our gear to the Rebel GT and said one last goodbye to the Jeep. We left there approximately 9:45 am. With the winter storm "Heather" moving in, we decided to drive to Birmingham, AL and stay the night in a hotel because we were both tired from the previous all night drive. We planned to drive straight through the next day. Tuesday morning, Jan 16 we awoke to news stories of horrible icy roads, wrecks everywhere and road closures. Interstate 65 North, was closed just a few miles north of Birmingham due to wrecked tractor trailers blocking the highway. We initially planned to leave at 7am, but now we decided to hold tight until the sun started coming out and began helping to melt things. Our hotel was real close to 65 and we could see traffic moving in both directions, slowly, but moving. We elected to leave and give it a try. We left there around 9:45, filled up on gas and made it onto 65 North. Being in the north, I expected to see salt trucks out and the roads improving but was highly disappointed. I guess their plan was to let the sun and warmer temps get rid of the ice. Nothing. They were doing nothing. The bad part is the temps were expected to stay well below freezing for the next couple days. What a **** show. It was slow moving on 65 North and eventually traffic came to a stop. We sat there for over an hour. Finally made it off the interstate to use the bathroom and we weren't let back on so our GPS routed us around on back roads.
We tried several different routes to get north of the closed section of 65 north. Most of these routes were back roads and also blocked by wrecks. We finally found a open route and made it back onto 65 north beyond the closed section. We were able to stay moving and finally made it to the TN border where the roads seemed better. We kept trucking along and the roads were mostly dry in TN and tried to make up time but the temps were still below 20, so any thawed ice/snow was likely going to freeze once the sun went down. As darkness fell, it was getting difficult to tell if the road was dry, wet or had black ice so we grabbed another hotel in Bowling Green, KY. I can't believe it took us almost all day to go from Birmingham AL to Bowling Green KY. If you are ever traveling south during winter and a storm is moving in, make sure you are prepared. Those southern states are horrible at maintaining the roads in those conditions.
The next day we left Bowling Green and finally made it home to Pittsburgh Wednesday evening. We didn't expect that kind of a road trip, but we were safe and the truck handled everything that was thrown at it. I was impressed with the Goodyear Duratracs, since I've never had them on a vehicle before. I've always been a fan of the BFG KO2s. Only when I goosed the skinny pedal did the truck try to get loose. The Rebel GT is such a smooth running truck and difference was night and day between the Jeep. We made several videos throughout our trip, so stay tuned to our youtube channel to check them out. It will be awhile until we get that footage edited and published.
Sorry for the long story, but some of you may find it entertaining. Here are a couple pics of the truck at the hotel in Bowling Green and one after it's first bath Wednesday evening. I couldn't let it sit in my garage all filthy, so it had to get cleaned up a little.

Rebel_GT_Mid_Trip_Bowling_Green_KY_01.jpg
Rebel_GT_Home_01.jpg
Rebel_GT_First_Wash_01.jpg
 

Units

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I can tell you as someone who lives in the south, I agree they are woefully unprepared for snow and ice on the roads as it’s only something that happens once every few years. Nice truck BTW.
 

Hemi832

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Congrats on the new truck. Yea like stated above, we here in Houston only get cold weather like this only every couple Years!
 

turkeybird56

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Thanks! I guess I picked the wrong time to go get my truck... My luck I guess.
Looking nice. Did U go 4 X 2 or go the whole 4 X 4? Assume 5.7 with E Torque? U almost have to special order a GT here with 4 X 4, they R pushing mostly 4 X 2's here. Is that a 24?
 
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stevieb92

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Looking nice. Did U go 4 X 2 or go the whole 4 X 4? Assume 5.7 with E Torque? U almost have to special order a GT here with 4 X 4, they R pushing mostly 4 X 2's here. Is that a 24?

Thanks! Yes, it is a 2024, 4x4 with the 5.7 e-torque and GT package. I wanted the non-e-torque, but that wasn't an option when I ordered it. I would have never attempted the drive through that ice and snow with a 4x2.
 

Dean2

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Really good write up, enjoyed reading it. Guys don't get just how much fun and adventure there is in travelling through difficult weather with a well rigged out truck. Has a lot of the appeal of off roading without the mud. Travelling in tough conditions also teaches one to keep the gas tank full, carry a couple of 5 gallon Jerrys, sleeping bags, recovery gear, heat source etc cause you just never know what will come up.

By the way, I too like Duratracs for deep snow and bad roads. Been using them for years, but my pickups spend 70% of their time not on pavement.

Enjoy the new pickup.
 

Drummin4jc

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Wish I would have found Mark Dodge sooner. I’m just south of you in SW PA (near Uniontown). Congratulations on the new truck!

Adam
 

markabby

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great story....good luck with the truck...and get that salt off ASAP!!!

as for the roads down south, we just close everything down for a day or two. Gives us time to chill out.
 
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stevieb92

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Really good write up, enjoyed reading it. Guys don't get just how much fun and adventure there is in travelling through difficult weather with a well rigged out truck. Has a lot of the appeal of off roading without the mud. Travelling in tough conditions also teaches one to keep the gas tank full, carry a couple of 5 gallon Jerrys, sleeping bags, recovery gear, heat source etc cause you just never know what will come up.

By the way, I too like Duratracs for deep snow and bad roads. Been using them for years, but my pickups spend 70% of their time not on pavement.

Enjoy the new pickup.

Thanks! I usually don't mind travelling in bad weather, but in this case being 700+ miles from home and with a brand new truck it was a little nerve wracking for me. We had a bunch of food, water, recovery gear, blankets, external battery packs, and other misc gear and tools I usually carried in my Wrangler. Yep, any time we stopped somewhere for a restroom break, I filled up the gas tank.
 
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stevieb92

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great story....good luck with the truck...and get that salt off ASAP!!!

as for the roads down south, we just close everything down for a day or two. Gives us time to chill out.

Yep, shortly after I got home wednesday afternoon I washed it and let it thaw out. Since Alabama was where we drove through the worst conditions, I doubt there was much salt on it anyway since they don't use it. By the time we got to TN, the roads were nearly dry and I wasn't driving in very sloppy stuff anymore. I saw that first hand - lots of places were closed. Hardly anyone in the small towns were out and about, well except for Wrangler drivers having fun. lol
 

jejb

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Yep, shortly after I got home wednesday afternoon I washed it and let it thaw out. Since Alabama was where we drove through the worst conditions, I doubt there was much salt on it anyway since they don't use it.
It appears they do use salt:
Once the sleetstarts, we’ll begin using salt and othersolutions to keep the roads open.
I use to live in the rust belt. I don't mean to alarm you, but salt = rust. I'd do my best to pressure wash the underside of your new truck thoroughly. OTOH, you're going to get more of it in Pittsburgh anyway, so it may be a loosing battle in the end.

I was born in Pittsburgh. I remember going back to visit in the winter. My dad would put spikes in winter tires to be able to get up and down the hills. This was back in the bias ply tire days.

Congrats on the new truck. I was in Lake Charles a couple of weeks ago. I have family there. Not a scenic area, but the people were nice.
 
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